On this day: Mississippi Secedes


To this day, Mississippi’s state flag retains Confederate imagery.

On the 9th of January, 1861, Mississippi followed the direction of South Carolina to become the second state to secede from the Union in the American Civil War.


Scars of a whipped slave, credited either as Mississippi or Louisiana.

The first states to leave the Union were those with high numbers of slaves. Records from Mississippi in 1860 list 55% of the state’s population as being enslaved – that is nearly 440 000 people. Fewer than one thousand African-Americans in Mississippi were free.



The decision to leave was made with overwhelming support, with a vote of 84-15.

On this day: the Rhythm Club fire


On the 23rd of April, 1940 a packed club in Natchez, Mississippi caught fire, killing 209 people and seriously wounding many others.

It remains one of the worst fires in US history.


Because windows and possible escape routes had been boarded up to prevent people outside from enjoying the music, very few people could escape. Most of the victims were African-American.

Delaware’s controversial age of consent, and girl prostitutes.

tatnall-streetChildren playing next to a reputed house of prostitution on Tatnall Street, Wilmington, Delaware, 1910.

Children in Delaware outside a brothel in 1910.

Technically, until 1972, the US state of Delaware had the age of consent set at seven. It was 1972 that the old law codes were completely overhauled.

It was in February 1889 that the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union submitted a petition to the Delaware General Assembly to have the age raised. The petition had ten yards of signatures of Delaware residents on it.

The age had been lowered to seven in 1871, having previously been ten. It was the lowest age of consent in the United States.

blacklist-of-states-arenaage of consent and rpae laws in nineteenth century unites states

A list of the age of consent in various states.

Click to enlarge and read.

The idea of the low age of consent for girls had a lot to do with proving rape (and dealing with – or ignoring! – child prostitution). Investigators in a rape case had to prove force and lack of consent, and the changed law helped cover for men having sex with young girls.

The states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida had the age set at ten.

At the end of the 1880s, the lowest age a girl could work as a prostitute in Delaware was raised to fifteen.

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On this day: the Battle of Raymond in 1863

The Battle of Raymond was fought on May 12, 1863.

The Battle of Raymond, part of the US Civil War, took place on the 12th of May, 1863, near Raymond, Mississippi. It resulted in a Union victory.

The Confederates lost 100 soldiers and the Union lost 68.

Though not a large battle compared to many others, it had a significant impact on the Vicksburg Campaign.