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Mississippi Bicentennial

Mississippi Bicentennial

On December 10, 1817, Mississippi was officially recognized as the 20th state in the United States of America. In 2017, the state will have the unique opportunity to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mississippi's statehood with a reflection on Mississippi's history and culture. Through regional bicentennial celebrations and coordinated local events, Mississippi will spend 2017 honoring our people and places, music and food, achievements in agriculture, science, and industry, sports legends, literary and artistic genius, and more.


Indian Chief, King Cotton and Prince Ibrahima: Royalty on Foster Mound Road Tour 

Tour Dates are Tuesday, March 21; Sunday, March 26; Sunday, April 2; and Sunday April 16.

Please Note: Your tour begins at the Natchez Grand Hotel at 5:00 pm and ends back at the Natchez Grand Hotel at approximately 8:15 pm.

Meet at the Natchez Grand Hotel  
“On Supposititious Heads and the Very Large History of a Very Small Place,” an overview of the tour by James L. Wiggins, Jr., historian, Copiah Lincoln Community College, Natchez, to take place in the ballroom of Natchez Grand Hotel. He will intertwine the three cultures which have left major imprints on Foster Mound Road: Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans.
Board the motor coach where you will be greeted by your Guide.  A welcome bag will be at each place and will include a tour leaflet with house descriptions, a tour map, a bottle of water, a napkin, a Mississippi Mounds Trail brochure, and a Jefferson College brochure.

Arrive at Historic Jefferson College. Director Robin Person will speak to the group about the property and allow the buildings and grounds to remain open after hours for the group to see exhibits and see the buildings.
Next, you'll visit Foster Mound, home of Rodger Smith. Nan Foster Schuchs will go with the group on the bus and discuss the Foster family's connection to the area since the late 1700s. Beverly Adams, a direct descendant of the African Prince Ibrahima will then tell the fascinating story of how he became Thomas Foster's slave, made Foster a millionaire, and finally achieved his freedom. You will tour the site of a large Indian mound and the Foster house which sits on it, centered by a 1780's log building visible behind a glass wall.
Your last stop on this tour will be at Glen Mary, home of Marion and Carolyn Vance Smith on Foster Mound Road. Foster descendant Nan Foster Schuchs will speak to the group onboard the bus about her ancestors who built Glen Mary. Marion Smith will tell of the Smith family's connection to the Fosters and how the Smiths acquired Glen Mary.
On the front porch, planter's punch and fruit juice will be served. You will be seated inside the home for a picnic supper. The menu will represent the three cultures along Foster Mound Road. 

Menu: Bowls of popcorn (all three cultures); three-bean salad (Native Americans); chicken salad on flatbread (all three cultures); squash soup (Native Americans and other cultures, too); sweet potato muffins (Africans); shortbread cookie (Europeans) topped with crushed pecans (Native Americans); bottled water.

After the picnic: Tour the house, with hosts pointing out several art collections spanning two centuries. Souvenirs of the visit will include a menu card with a drawing of Glen Mary on one side, a cotton boll Christmas tree ornament, and a reading list of books associated with the tour.
Arrive back at Natchez Grand Hotel.
Cost of the tour is $129 per person.
1817: David Holmes becomes Mississippi's first governor . Governor David Holmes served from 1817 to 1820.

March 1, 1817: President James Monroe signs enabling act admitting Mississippi to Union.  The western part of the Mississippi Territory became a state, and the eastern half became the Alabama Territory.

​July 1817: Mississippi holds first constitutional convention. Assembled in Washington, Mississippi, 48 delegates wrote a conservative document concentrating power in the hands of the privileged few. According to the constitution, only white property owners or members of the militia would have the right to vote in the new state of Mississippi.

​December 10, 1817  Twenty Star United States Flag...The United States House and Senate adopted the new constitution, and on December 10 President Monroe signed a joint resolution admitting Mississippi as a state. Natchez was designated state capital, and territorial governor David Holmes was elected Mississippi's first governor.