Mississippi State Capital: Jackson

The state of Mississippi derives its name from the Native American language, in which Mississippi means “Father of Waves” or “Great River”. The state is known for its key role in the US Civil War is home to several historic sites and monuments. It is also known for its bluegrass music, catfish, and magnolias. The capital of Mississippi is Jackson, which is located in the Hinds County. Jackson, MS, is the largest urban city in the state with a population of around 420,000 people in 2020.

When the Mississippi Territory was created in 1798 by United States Congress, Natchez was chosen as the capital of the territory. Natchez had a thriving population on the Mississippi River, making it a natural capital for the state. In 1802, the capital of the state was changed to Washington due to political reasons. The Republicans came to power in the 1800 US elections and wanted to change Natchez as the capital because it was considered too “aristocratic”.

Washington did not last as the state capital for long as in 1817, the capital was changed back to Natchez when Mississippi was added to the United States. The power of Natchez started to decline when people started to settle in other areas of the state, away from the Mississippi River.  In 1821, the capital of the state was temporarily moved to Columbia while a search for a state capital was underway.   

The site of Jackson near the Pearl River was chosen as the place where the new state capital will be planned. The site offered several advantages such as being located on high ground, fertile soil, and being close to Pearl River for waterway access. The first state-owned capital was established in Jackson. Even as the capital of the state, Jackson was slow to grow and there were serious efforts to move the state capitol to more influential and affluent cities in the state. However, Jackson continued as the capital of the state. It even survived the US Civil War as the capital of the state, and still holds the position to date.

Jackson, MS, is home to several attractions such as the Jackson Zoo, Children’s Museum, Mississippi Museum of Natural Sciences, Celtic Fest, Mississippi Blues Marathon, and other historic and cultural attractions. The location of the city on the junction of two major interstates makes it a popular designation for tourists.