REGION 3: HISTORY: (The Deep South) Fun Facts

THE DEEP SOUTH

Florida * Alabama * Mississippi * Louisiana * Arkansas

Did you know that in order for a soldier to serve during the Civil War, he had to have at least 6 opposing front teeth?  This was so that his ‘not-so-pearly’ whites could bite off the end a powder cartridge pouch while his hands were otherwise engaged.  This caused draftees (who could afford the high fee) to have their front teeth removed to avoid military service!

There is no end to the information that you could encounter on your trip into the Deep South, so take a deep breath and focus on what is most interesting to you!    

A visit to the Deep South (Region 3) is steeped in tradition, history and superstition.  The bulk of the history you’ll be exposed to pertains to the Louisiana Purchase, history of the slaves, the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement.  For our ‘Focused Events’ in Region 3, we’ll concentrate on the years between 1750 and 1870.

We’ll call this the ANTEBELLUM / POST ANTEBELLUM PERIOD.

A). A LITTLE BACKGROUND INFORMATION TO GET US STARTED:

*The crops that the early colonies became rich on were tobacco, cotton and rice – which required a huge labor force.

*Sumptuary Laws extended from the Middle Ages and regulated the dress, food, and luxury expenditures that one could enjoy depending on their social class.  These laws were meant to preserve the social class system and keep people from appearing ‘above their station’. This would eventually lead to the ‘Jim Crow’ laws that would enforce racial segregation. Jim Crow Laws

*1619: Slaves are brought to the Virginia Colony to help with work on the plantations.  Initially a slave could earn their freedom after 7 years of hard labor.

*1641: Slavery becomes legal in the Colonies.

*1660: King Charles II establishes the Royal African Trading Company for the transport of Africans to the Colonies.  These slaves were called ‘Black Gold’.

*1750: In 1750, Florida is in the hands of the Spanish and the majority of the Deep South states are thriving slave colonies.

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B). FOCUSED EVENTS IN THE DEEP SOUTH:

*1731: Florida declares that slaves fleeing in from the Carolinas will not be sold or returned.

*1773: Slaves in Massachusetts are unsuccessful in petitioning the government for their freedom.

*1776: Declaration of Independence signed in Pennsylvania.

*1787: the Northwest Ordinance forbids slavery in the Northwest Territories.

*1788: U.S. Constitution is adopted and counts non-free persons as 3/5ths of a free person for congressional representation.

*1793: Eli Whitney invents to cotton gin.

*1794: Congress outlaws slave trade in the U.S. with foreign countries.

*1795-1820: In large numbers, slaves convert to Christianity during the ‘Second Great Awakening’ revival.

*1800: Congress prohibits the exportation of slaves.

*1803: Louisiana Purchase made by Thomas Jefferson adds the area from the Great Lakes to the Gulf coast, and the Mississippi River to the current U.S. state’s borders to the Union nearly doubling the size of the U.S.

*1804: The ‘Underground Railroad’ is established.  Underground Railroad

*1819: The U.S. annexes East Florida, which previously served as a refuge for runaway slaves.

*1819: Slave trading becomes a Capital Offence.

*1822: Liberia (a country in West Africa established and controlled by U.S. Colonists and ex-slaves) is founded as a colony for blacks fleeing America.

*1826: Pennsylvania passes an anti-kidnapping law to protect free blacks.

*1830: The slave population in the U.S. numbers more than two million, making the ratio of free to enslaved Americans approximately 5.5:1.

*1835: In the Second Seminole War, blacks again fight alongside Native Americans in opposition to U.S. forces.

*1836: Faced with a deluge of abolitionist petitions, the U.S. House of Representatives adopts a “gag rule” by which abolitionist materials are automatically tabled. The rule is renewed numerous times.  Gag Rule

*1847: Frederick Douglass breaks with William Lloyd Garrison’s abolitionist newspaper, THE LIBERATOR, to found a black abolitionist paper called THE NORTH STAR.

*1856: The Republican Party is formed out of the Free Soil Party.  Free Soil Party

*1857: Dred Scott decision by the Supreme court affects all blacks in the U.S. and turns back the clock concerning the rights of blacks. Dred Scott Decision

*1861: The Union of Confederate States is formed. Jefferson Davis is elected its president.  Davis was an advocate for a dentistry corps. Perhaps this is why the Confederate Army had a dental program, while a similar idea in the Union Army was rejected by the War department.

*1861: The Civil War begins.

*1862: Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation. Emancipation Proclamation

*1864: Ulysses S. Grant named General-in-chief of the Union Army

*1864: General Lee surrenders to General Grant at the Appomattox Court House in Virginia ending the American Civil War.

*1864: Congress establishes the U.S. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands (The Freedmen’s Bureau) to assist former slaves in the transition to freedom.

*1866: The Ku Klux Klan is founded. Ku Klux Klan

*1866-1870: Confederate States admitted back into the Union.

*1867: Blacks are given the right to vote with the 15th Amendment.

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C). KEY BATTLES OF THE CIVIL WAR:

Understanding that there was So much more to the ‘War Between the States”, here are of the turning points:

*April 12, 1861: (Battery Point Charleston, SC): First shots fired by the Confederate Artillery on the Union garrison at Ft Sumter.  The battle lasted 34 straight hours and left the garrison in confederate hands until General W.T. Sherman regained control in 1865.

*July 21, 1861: THE BATTLE OF BULL RUN (Northern Virginia).  During the first formal battle of the Civil War, Gen. McDowell led 30,000 Union men against 22,000 Southern troops in an attempt to go “On to Richmond”.  The South scored a victory & McDowell was replaced by Gen. George McClellan.

*March 1862: THE MONITOR AND THE MERRIMAC (Hampton, VA):  First ironclad battle in history ends in a draw as the Merrimac withdraws after a daylong exchange of fire. Union blockade of the South is maintained.

*April 1862: SHILOH (Tennessee): Gen. Grant overcomes Southern forces with heavy losses for each side: 13,000 Union casualties and 11,000 for the South.

*August 1862: 2ND BATTLE OF BULL RUN (Northern Virginia): McClellan replaced by Gen. Pope for the Union forces. Gen. Lee and Gen. Stonewall Jackson defeat Union troops again at Manassas and Pope is replaced by McClellan.

*September 1862: ANTIETAM (Maryland): Over 23,000 casualties (more than all previous American wars combined). Convinced England & France not to ally with the CSA (Confederate States Army) which Gave Lincoln confidence to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.

*May 1863: CHANCELLORSVILLE (Northern Virginia): Gen. Hooker defeated by Lee, and Stonewall Jackson is mistakenly shot by his own men and killed.

*July 1863: VICKSBURG (Mississippi): After a long siege, Gen. Grant is able to take full Union control of the Mississippi River.

*July 1863: GETTYSBURG (Pennsylvania): The largest battle in the Western Hemisphere. Called the “Turning Point of the Civil War” because the Union defeated Lee’s army & the South never again invaded Northern soil. This kicked off the Northern “winning streak”.

*November  1863CHATTANOOGA  (Tennessee): Reinforced with troops from the East, Gen. Grant is able to push Southern troops back and prepare for assault on Atlanta and the heart of the Confederacy.

*March 1864: WASHINGTON D.C.: Gen. Grant was given full command of all Union troops.  Lincoln’s cabinet complains that Grant is a ‘drunk’ and seeks to interfere with his command, but Lincoln gives Grant is unconditional support and asks not to be notified of his plans.  Grant embraces ‘total war’, begins the siege of Richmond and then orders Sherman to take Georgia with his ‘March to the Sea’ Campaign.

*Sept-Dec 1864SHERMAN’S MARCH TO THE SEA’ (Georgia): Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman destroys Atlanta and then sends troops on a 300 mile destructive march from Atlanta to Savannah.  Railroads were torn up, crops were burned and towns were destroyed in an attempt to break the will of the South.  Victory in Atlanta gave Lincoln a boost in the election of 1864.

*April 9, 1865: APPOMATTOX COURT HOUSE (Virginia):

Battle at Appomattox ends with Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendering to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant formally ending America’s great Civil War.

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D). A FEW FOCUSED EVENTS FOR EACH STATE:

1). FloridaMotto: ‘In God We Trust’

*1565: St Augustine is established as the oldest permanent settlement in the U.S.

*1763: Spain cedes Florida to England at the end of the French and Indian War

*1768: The colony of New Smyrna is established by Dr. Andrew Turnbull

*1783: Final naval battle of the American Revolution fought off Cape Canaveral under Capt. John Berry

*1783: After the Revolutionary War, England cedes Florida back to Spain

*1812: Republic of East Florida is established

*1817: First of the Seminole Wars – all fought as a result of the Seminole Indians providing safe harbor for runaway slaves and the fact that they didn’t want to give up their lands to be placed on Indian Territory

*1821: Spain cedes Florida to the United States

*1824: Florida builds its first lighthouse in St. Augustine

*1824: U.S. Army establishes Fort Brooke – later known as Tampa

*1835-1842: Second Seminole War

*1842: Armed Occupation Act provides for land grants in unsettled parts of Florida

*1845: Florida admitted to the Union as the 27th State

*1845-1866: Fort Zachary Taylor in Key West was controlled by Federal forces during the Civil War and used to deter supply ships from provisioning Confederate ports in the Gulf of Mexico.

*1855-1858: Third Seminole War

*1861: Florida secedes from the Union

*1868: Florida is re-admitted to the Union

 

2). Alabama:  Motto: ‘We dare to Defend (Maintain) our Rights’

*Early 1700’s:  Alabama first explored by Spain

*1756-1763: Seven Year’s War

*1790: Creek Indians negotiate the Treaty of New York gaining rights in Alabama and Georgia

*1799: Andrew Ellicott makes a survey that establishes U.S. claims for its southern boundary with Spanish West Florida at the 31st parallel. Ellicott’s Stone is placed north of Mobile in 1799 to mark the 31st parallel

*1798: Alabama is included in the newly organized Mississippi Territory

*1799: U.S. Army Lieutenant John McClary takes possession of Fort St. Stephens from the Spanish, and the United States flag is raised for the first time on soil that would eventually belong to Alabama

*1811-1812: First schools established at St Stephens and Huntsville

*1813: Spanish surrender Mobile to U.S. forces

*1813-1814: Creek Indian War, a part of the War of 1812, fought largely within the boundaries of present-day Alabama. Andrew Jackson of Tennessee becomes a military hero as he leads U.S. forces against the “Red Stick” Creeks resulting in over 13 battles

*1814: Treaty of Ft Jackson ends with 23 million acres of Creek territory being ceded to the U.S.

*1817: Territory of Alabama created

*1819: Alabama becomes 22nd State

*1820-1840: 150,000 slaves brought into Alabama

*1830-1835: Indian Removal Bill signed

*1835: Meteor shower called the ‘Night the Stars Fell on Alabama’

*1835-1836: Alabama Gold Rush in east-central hill country

*1846: Montgomery selected as state capitol

*1861: Alabama secedes from the Union

*1861-1865: 194 land battles and 8 naval battles fought during the Civil War

*1868: Alabama readmitted into the Union

 

3). Mississippi:  Motto: ‘By Valor and Arms’

*1763: Mississippi, along with all other French territory east of the Mississippi river, passes into English control at the end of the French and Indian War.

*1779: Bernardo Galvez, governor of Spanish Louisiana, captures Natchez.

*1779-1798:  The Natchez region is governed by Spain. The slave trade is encouraged by offering land grant bonuses to settlers who transport slaves

*1781-1783: The Treaty of Paris gives the Spanish control of West Florida (which included the southern half of Mississippi). America gains possession of Northern Mississippi         

*1795-1810: The slave trade grows as cotton replaces tobacco as the main cash crop and more slave labor is needed         

r3h7NATCHEZ MISSISSIPPI

*1795: America gains the territory along the eastern bank of the Mississippi River through the Pinckney Treaty with Spain.

*1798-1817: Mississippi becomes a Territory as the Spanish fully withdraw and the U.S. limits the slave trade

*1801-1802: The Natchez Trace become a major road and a mail route through a Treaty with the Natchez Indians

*1803: The Louisiana Purchase opens the Mississippi River for trade and commercial business

*1801-1837: Indian lands east of the Mississippi River are ceded to America and the Indians are removed creating a land rush and the need for more slaves

*1805: The Choctaw Indian sell 4.5 million acres of land the U.S. including south-central Mississippi.

*1812: The War of 1812 gives Mississippi control of the West Florida territory.

*1817: The western half of the Mississippi territory becomes the 20th State.

*1822: The State Capitol is moved to Jackson

*1826: Mississippi college is Established

*1850: The US Congress gives the state title to more than 3 million acres of swamp and overflow land. The Delta is drained, cleared, and becomes available for cultivation

*1861: Mississippi becomes the 2nd state to secede from the Union. More than 80,000 Mississippians served in the Confederate States Army.

*1861-1865: Civil War

*1868: Mississippi’s first biracial constitutional convention – the “Black and Tan” Convention” – drafts a constitution protecting the rights of freedmen (ex-slaves) and punishing ex-Confederates. It is rejected by the voters

*1869:  Mississippi ratifies a constitution and does not punish ex-Confederate soldiers

*1870: Mississippi is re-admitted into the Union

*1877: Jackson College, a private college for blacks, is established at Natchez.

 

4). Louisiana:  Motto: ‘Union, Justice and Confidence’ 

*After descending the Mississippi river, Robert Cavalier, Sieur de la Salle claims the territory for Louis XIV of France and names it Louisiana

*1718: New Orleans is founded and named for Phillippe Duke of Orleans. The St Louis Cathedral is built. (It is the oldest cathedral in the U.S.)

*1717: John Law receives a charter for the development of Louisiana

*1719: Slaves and Germans arrive in Louisiana

*1723: New Orleans becomes capitol of Louisiana

*1727: Ursuline nuns arrive opening a girl’s school

*1731: Louisiana returns to Royal control

*1751: Sugarcane is introduced

*1762: France cedes all of Louisiana west of the Mississippi to Spain

*1771: First Spanish schools established

*1777: Louisiana joins the colonies in the Revolutionary War

*1795: Treaty of San Lorenzo gives Americans free navigation of the Mississippi River

*1795: Etienne de Bore develops a process for making sugar from Louisiana Cane

*1800: Spain cedes Louisiana back to France

*1803: Louisiana Purchase: U.S. purchases the Louisiana Territory for $15,000,000.

*1804: Louisiana is divided into the Territory of New Orleans and the District of Louisiana

*1812: Louisiana admitted to the Union as 18th state

*1812: First Steamboat navigating the Mississippi River arrives in New Orleans

*1815: Battle of New Orleans won by Gen. Andrew Jackson

*1838: First Mardi Gras held in New Orleans

*1849: Baton Rouge becomes Capitol

*1861: Louisiana secedes from the Union

*1861-1865: Civil War

*1868: Louisiana re-admitted into the Union

 

5). Arkansas:  Motto: ‘The People Rule’

*1686: Henri de Tonti founded Arkansas Post, the first settlement in the lower Mississippi River Valley. It served as a trading post, a way-station for Mississippi River travel, and the home of a Jesuit mission

r3h8*1721: Arkansas Post abandoned as John Law’s plan to develop the Mississippi Valley collapses

*1762: France cedes the Louisiana Territory (including Arkansas) to Spain

*1803: Louisiana Purchase puts the Missouri Territory (which included Arkansas) in control of the U.S.

*1819: Arkansas becomes its own Territory

*1821: Capitol moves from Arkansas Post to Little Rock

*1836: Arkansas becomes 25th State in the Union

*1846: Legislators ratify a constitutional amendment barring any banking institution from being established in the state.

*1861:  Arkansas votes to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy. 60,000 Arkansas residents initially join the confederate troops, but some 9,000 whites and more than 5,000 blacks fight on the Union side during the war.

*1861-1865: Civil War

*1864: A unionist convention abolishes slavery in Arkansas and adopts a new constitution for the state.

*1868: Arkansas becomes the 1st Breakaway state to be re-admitted into the Union

                                       

E): DEEP SOUTH EVENTS SINCE THE CIVIL WAR:

*1865: President Johnson establishes Reconstruction Plan which congress rejects.

*1868: Gen. William T. Sherman signs a peace treaty with the Oglala Sioux settling the conflict between them and the gold miners.

*1875: Congress passes the Civil Rights Act which congress overturns in 1883.

*1914: The ‘Great Migration’ of nearly 1 million blacks to the North begins.

*1948: Southern Democrats break the New Deal coalition, bolting the Democratic Party and forming the State’s Rights Democratic Party (the ‘Dixiecrats’).

*1954-1972: Civil Rights Era led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

*1954: U.S. Supreme Court rules that school segregation is unconstitutional.

*1955: Rosa Parks initiates desegregation of city buses in Montgomery, AL by refusing to give up her seat.

*1963: “I Have A Dream” speech by Rev. / Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.r3h2

*1964: President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act making segregation and discrimination illegal.

*1968: Rev. / Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated.

*1969: First landing on the moon by the U.S.

 

Whatever your interests are, the Deep South has so much too offer!  Go there armed with some basic information, and stay for its history, its laid back, genteel and elegant pace, its culture, architecture and food, or just for the beauty that makes the South the Lovely Lady that she is!

 

 

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