Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Davis Island, Mississippi/Kents Island
Panel #30 Mississippi Riverwalk
A) Davis Island, Mississippi
Mile 415.0 AHP
A large bend once curved around this land which the first settlers name Palmyra. Jefferson Davis established his Briercliffe Plantation here in 1835, next to his brother Joseph’s Hurricane Plantation. The Davis properties were well known and the bend became known as Davis Bend, Jefferson Davis resigned as U. S. Senator from Mississippi when the state seceded from the Union in 1861. and was then elected President of the Confederacy. Briercliffe Plantation was confiscated by the Lion in 1863 and was made a model work colony for free slaves. The U. S. Offered to return the property to Davis after the war in exchange for a single statement repudiating the Confederacy. Davis refused. In 1867, the river cut through the neck of land east of the old Davis property cutting off Davis Bend and creating Davis Island. Diamond Cutoff moved the river into its current channel in 1933. Davis Bend is now named Palmyra Lake, and Davis Island is Mississippi territory embedded in Louisiana shore.
B) Kents Island
Mile 431.5 AHP
A new river channel constructed to its east made Kents Island part of the Louisiana shore. In 1809, on the east bank opposite the island, the town of Warrenton was created to serve the county seat of Warren County. The swampy, low lying town could not quite compete with Vicksburg’s better location a few miles north and Warrenton snowy declined. It was heavily damaged by shelling during the U. S. Civil War. When the river later moved west and land-locked Warrenton, it was abandoned.
Erected by Mississippi Riverwalk. (Marker Number 30.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Settlements & Settlers • War, US Civil • Waterways & Vessels.
Location. 35° 8.968′ N, 90° 3.507′ W. Marker is in Memphis, Tennessee, in Shelby County. Marker can be reached from Island Drive 0.8 miles south of West A.W. Willis Avenue when traveling south. Located in Mud Island River Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 125 N Front St, Memphis TN 38103, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Mississippi Riverwalk (here, next to this marker); Ohio River (here, next to this marker); Cairo, Illinois (here, next to this marker); Islands No. 2, 3, and 4 / Fort Jefferson, Kentucky / Bird’s Point, Missouri (here, next to this marker); Island No. 5 (Wolf Island)/Belmont, Missouri/Columbus, Kentucky (here, next to this marker); Donaldson Point, Missouri/Island No. 8/Hickman, Kentucky/Dorena Crevasse (here, next to this marker); New Madrid, Missouri/Cates Casting Field/Island No. 10 (here, next to this marker); Tiptonville, Tennessee/Bixby Towhead (here, next to this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Memphis.
Also see . . .
1. Jefferson Davis. Davis was born in Fairview, Kentucky, to a moderately prosperous farmer, and grew up on his older brother Joseph's large cotton plantations in Mississippi and Louisiana. Joseph Davis also secured his appointment to the United States Military Academy. After graduating, Jefferson Davis served six years as a lieutenant in the United States Army. He fought in the Mexican–American War (1846–1848), as the colonel of a volunteer regiment. Before the American Civil War, he operated a large cotton plantation in Mississippi and owned as many as 74 slaves. Although he argued against secession in 1858, he believed that states had an unquestionable right to leave the Union. (Submitted on March 18, 2018, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA.)
2. Warrenton, Mississippi. The earliest settlement in this community was Hopewell Methodist Church and Cemetery, established in 1805. It was the first church in Warren County, and still exists a short distance east of Warrenton. Sometime after 1809, a brick courthouse was constructed at Warrenton, and the town became the first county seat. A post office was established in 1811, and the town incorporated in 1820. At the time, Warrenton was the largest, most centrally located, and most important place in the county. Nearby Vicksburg began to prosper due to its better landing, higher location, and more vigorous leadership. The county seat was moved there in 1825. During the 1830s, Warrenton continued as a place of cotton export. Due to the town's low-lying swampy location, it suffered from river floods and epidemics such as yellow fever, smallpox and cholera. During the Civil War, Confederate forces established a fortification at Warrenton. The town was badly damaged by shelling during the war. (Submitted on March 18, 2018, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA.)
Credits. This page was last revised on March 24, 2018. It was originally submitted on March 18, 2018, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. This page has been viewed 123 times since then and 22 times this year. Photo 1. submitted on March 18, 2018, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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