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Mississippi represented the Old South and all that it stood for—perhaps more so than any other state. Tracing its long histories of economic, social, and cultural evolution, Morris takes a close and richly detailed look at a representative Southern community: Jefferson Davis's Warren County, in the state's southwestern corner. Drawing on many wills, deeds, court records, and manuscript materials, he reveals the transformation of a loosely knit, typically Western community of pioneer homesteaders into a distinctly Southern society based on plantation agriculture, slavery, and a patriarchal social order.
"This thoughtful, well-written study doubtless will be widely read and deservedly influential."—American Historical Review.
Introduction: The Evolution of Old South Civilization
1. Pioneers of the Loosa Chitto
2. Economic Transformation and the Rise of the Planters' World
3. Relations Within the Households: White Families
4. Households Within Households: Masters and Slaves
5. Brothers and Neighbors: The Politics of Patriarchy
6. Hamlets and Towns: The Urban Process
7. A Place Apart from the Countryside: The City of Vicksburg
8. Organizing a County Community: Neighborhoods, Parties, and the Politics of Development
9. A Cotton County Comes of Age
10. An End and a Beginning