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Mississippi Deed History

On December 10, 1817, Mississippi was the 20th state admitted to the Union. Prior to that, the region had been the Mississippi Territory since 1804. Originally, Georgia had claimed all the area between the Mississippi and Chattahoochee rivers, and in 1790, the state tried to sell the land in a massive fraud attempt. This is referred to as the Yazoo land fraud. Georgia sold large tracts of land in what is now Mississippi to political insiders at very low prices. The court ruled that the contracts were binding and the state could not retroactively the earlier land sales. This marked one of the first times that the Supreme Court overturned state law. The land was ceded to the national government and the northern part of the ceded territory was added to Mississippi Territory.

Mississippi has 82 counties. When statehood was granted in 1817, there were two original counties: Adams and Jefferson counties. Adams County, created in 1799, was the first organized county in the Mississippi Territory. The most populous county is Hinds County, which was created in 1821 and was developed for cotton plantations. The early records in Adams County contain many Spanish records, as Mississippi was not free from Spanish control until 1813. Adams County was the first county government in the state. One of the first county clerks in Adams County was Peter Walker in 1799.