Aviva Directory » Local & Global » North America » United States » States » Mississippi » Cities & Towns » Port Gibson

Located in southwestern Mississippi, Port Gibson is the county seat of Claiborne County. The first Europeans to settle the area were French colonists who came in 1729, and Port Gibson was chartered as a town after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. When the American Indians were removed from the area, cotton plantations began springing up in the area, and planters imported thousands of African-American slaves to work the fields. At the start of the Civil War, Port Gibson had a majority black population, nearly all enslaved. Several clashes took place in or near Port Gibson during the war, the most significant being the Battle of Port Gibson, which took place on May 1, 1863. Many of the town’s historic buildings survived because Union General Ulysses S. Grant declared the city to be “too beautiful to burn., words that now appear on Port Gibson’s city limits signs. The city also played a part in the Mississippi Blues. The Rabbit’s Foot Company, established in Florida by Pat Chappelle in 1900, was moved to Port Gibson after it was purchased by a white farmer in 1911. Featuring an all-black cast of singers, musicians, comedians, and entertainers, it remained in operation until 1950, playing a part in the development of the Blues in Mississippi. Confederate General Earl Van Dorn was born near Port Gibson. US Highway 61 passes through the center of Port Gibson. Nearby communities include Alcorn, Gordon, Ingleside, Oaklawn, Pattison, Russum, and Westside. Vicksburg, Mississippi is thirty-three miles to the north, and the state capital of Jackson is about sixty miles northeast of Port Gibson.



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