A Borrowed Land
The first complete synthesis of the diverse encounters, conflicts, and exchanges of Mississippi's colonial period
Colonial Mississippi: A Borrowed Land offers the first composite of histories from the entire colonial period in the land now called Mississippi. Christian Pinnen and Charles Weeks reveal stories spanning over three hundred years and featuring a diverse array of individuals and peoples from America, Europe, and Africa. The authors focus on the encounters among these peoples, good and bad, and the lasting impacts on the region.
The eighteenth century receives much-deserved attention from Pinnen and Weeks as they focus on the trials and tribulations of Mississippi as a colony, especially along the Gulf Coast and in the Natchez country. The authors tell the story of a land borrowed from its original inhabitants and never returned. They make clear how a remarkable diversity characterized the state throughout its early history.
Early encounters and initial contacts involved primarily Native Americans and Spaniards in the first half of the sixteenth century following the expeditions of Columbus and others to the large region of the Gulf of Mexico. More sustained interaction began with the arrival of the French to the region and the establishment of a French post on Biloxi Bay at the end of the seventeenth century. Such exchanges continued through the eighteenth century with the British, and then again the Spanish until the creation of the territory of Mississippi in 1798 and then two states, Mississippi in 1817 and Alabama in 1819. Though readers may know the bare bones of this history, the dates, and names, this is the first book to reveal the complexity of the story in full, to dig deep into a varied and complicated tale.
"This volume in the Heritage of Mississippi Series on the peoples of Mississippi in the colonial era before American control fills a significant gap in our understandings of Mississippi’s past. Using detailed analysis of a wide range of individual historical actors and centering them within the local and international events that shaped their world, this book provides an excellent introduction to the personalities and events of this era of Mississippi’s history. Readers will find the writing fast paced, detailed, and well-constructed, while the rich sources used by the authors offer a map into additional research and information. Overall, this is an excellent resource for learning about colonial Mississippi."- Greg O'Brien, coeditor of The Native South: New Histories and Enduring Legacies, editor of Pre-removal Choctaw History: Exploring New Paths, and author of Choctaws in a Revolutionary Age, 1750–1830
"Colonial Mississippi: A Borrowed Land is a gem of a book. Christian Pinnen and Charles Weeks present a fulsome, deep, broad, yet nuanced synthesis of the colonial history of the state of Mississippi. Pinnen and Weeks follow a full cast of players—Natives, Spaniards, English, French, and Africans—through 250 years of shifting power dynamics, environmental contingencies, and political fortunes and misfortunes, as well as the changing social and cultural worlds that constituted the long Mississippi, and American, colonial experience."- Robbie Ethridge, coeditor of The Transformation of the Southeastern Indians, 1540-1760, among many other works