Joining the United States, 1799–1832

The Mississippi Constitution of 1817

Theme and Time Period

Return to About the Mississippi Constitution of 1817


Constitution and Form of Government for the State of Mississippi


We, the Representatives of the people inhabiting the western part of the Mississippi Territory, contained within the following limits, to wit: Beginning on the River Mississippi at the point where the southern boundary line of the State of Tennessee strikes the same; thence east

The Governors of Mississippi Lesson Plan


The Mississippi History Now profiles on Mississippi’s governors offer brief summaries of the personal and political lives of each of the state’s chief executives. Although students usually are aware of the current governor and perhaps can name others who have served in the position, rarely is there enough time in the classroom to permit them a more personal glimpse into the lives of those who have served in the state’s highest elected position. Students can use these gubernatorial biographies in a variety of ways.

Constitutions of Mississippi Lesson Plan


Throughout the school year, students will analyze Mississippi's four constitutions to determine the various forces that influenced the writing of each one. They will identify specific examples in the documents that indicate how the writers responded to those forces. Students will seek to answer these questions:

  • How do the "times" affect the writing of a constitution?
  • Does it matter who writes a constitution?


Mississippi Studies Framework: Competencies 1,3,4; Objectives 01, 03.

Italians in Mississippi Lesson Plan


Much of the story of Mississippi’s people, both past and present, has focused on, as Willie Morris writes, her two great blood sources: Great Britain and West Africa. (Morris, My Mississippi , p. 36)   However, it is both short-sighted and historically incorrect to ignore the influences of other smaller ethnic groups in the state’s development.  The Italians comprise one such group.  In this lesson, students will study how and why the Italians came to Mississippi.  They will discover unique aspects of the Italian heritage and their contributions to the state’s culture.

Gideon Lincecum (1793-1874): Mississippi Pioneer and Man of Many Talents Lesson Plan


In every period of history there exist extraordinary citizens that make everlasting contributions to their society. Gideon Lincecum is one such individual. Through his writings we can gain much insight into the experiences of settlers during the early period of Mississippi’s statehood. His works are an invaluable source of reference for grasping an understanding of how social and cultural changes effected Mississippians of his era.


Mississippi Studies Framework: Competencies 1, 2, and 3.

Free Black People in Antebellum Mississippi Lesson Plan


With the exception of a brief mention and reference to William Johnson, the free barber of Natchez, very little attention is given by Social Studies texts to free Black people in pre-Civil War Mississippi. In this lesson, students will become acquainted with the free Black population of Mississippi, the prevailing attitudes of slaveholders toward this class, and the efforts of the American and Mississippi Colonization Societies to resettle the free individuals in Africa.

Students will be expected to answer these questions:

Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar

Theme and Time Period

L. Q. C. Lamar is perhaps Mississippi’s most noted nineteenth century statesman. He was the first person, and one of only two in American history (the other was South Carolina’s James Byrnes in the twentieth century), to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, the U. S. Senate, as a member of the President’s Cabinet, and as a justice on the U. S. Supreme Court. Despite these accomplishments, Lamar's legacy is tainted today by his active role in the reestablishment of White supremacy in the post-Reconstruction South.

The Great Migration to the Mississippi Territory, 1798-1819

Theme and Time Period

Americans have always been a people on the move. The first settlers at Jamestown and Plymouth had barely established a foothold in the early 1600s when they began to push into the continent’s interior. Adventurous settlers, anxious to improve their fortunes, took up new lands in the west, confidently expecting them to be better than the lands they left behind. Westward movement of the colonists continued throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.