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Mississippi Territory Commemorative Stamp
On April 7 1948, the U.S. Post Office held first-day-of-issue ceremonies in Natchez, Miss. for a 3-cent commemorative stamp on the 150th anniversary of passage of an act of Congress creating the Mississippi Territory. Actually, the 1798 legislation provided for representatives of the U.S. and Georgia to meet to negotiate ceding Georgia's western territories to the U.S. -- which did not occur until 1802. Nevertheless, Pres. John Adams went ahead and appointed Winthrop Sargent as the Mississippi Territory's first governor and designated Natchez as its capital. Though Sargent proved unpopular and was removed by Pres. Jefferson in 1801, it is his image that appears on the Mississippi Territory sesquicentennial stamp. Of importance to Georgia is that all this took place on lands still claimed by Georgia.
The map on the stamp is somewhat misleading, as the boundries of the Mississippi Territory specified in the 1798 act included all land from the mouth of Yazoo River on the Mississippi River eastward to the Chattahoochee River as the northern boundary and the 31st parallel between the Mississippi and Chattahoochee rivers as the southern boundary. On the stamp, however, only the portion of the territory that falls in the boundaries of the state of Mississippi is shaded, as are two additional territories that were added to what would become a state in 1817.
(c) Carl Vinson Institute of Government, The University of Georgia
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