Port Gibson, Mississippi, Port Gibson

3.3
#338 of 511 in Things to do in Mississippi
Landmark · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Port Gibson is a city in Claiborne County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 1,567 at the 2010 census. Port Gibson is the county seat of Claiborne County, which is bordered on the west by the Mississippi River. It is the site of the Claiborne County Courthouse.

The first European settlers in Port Gibson were French colonists in 1729; it was part of La Louisiane. It was chartered as a town in 1803 after the United States acquired the territory in the Louisiana Purchase from France. To develop cotton plantations in the area after Indian Removal of the 1830s, planters in the state imported thousands of African-American slaves from the Upper South. The county had a black majority established well before the Civil War; they were overwhelmingly enslaved.

Several notable people are natives of Port Gibson. The town saw action during the American Civil War. Port Gibson has several historical sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places (National Register of Historic Places listings in Claiborne County, Mississippi).

In the 20th century, Port Gibson was home to The Rabbit's Foot Company. It had a substantial role in the development of blues in Mississippi, including taverns and juke joints now included on the Mississippi Blues Trail.

With the decline in agriculture and lack of other jobs, the city and rural county have suffered from reduced population and poverty. The peak of population in the city was in 1950. A report in the New York Times in 2002 characterized Port Gibson as 80 percent black and poor, with 20 percent of families living on incomes of less than $10,000 a year, according to the 2000 Census. It also has an "entrenched population of whites, many of whom are related and have some historical connection to cotton."
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  • All you need to know about Port Gibson, Mississippi, is that General Ulysses S. Grant said the town was too beautiful to burn. Grant made that statement in 1863, when his Union Army was en route to...  more »
  • The town of Port Gibson is quite small but it is part of the great Mississippi River Road Drive, and it has the novelty of the First Presbyterian Church with its well-known steeple. The nearby Grand.....  more »

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