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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Pascagoula in Jackson County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
 

The Round Island Affair - 1849

 
 
The Round Island Affair - 1849 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 22, 2018
1. The Round Island Affair - 1849 Marker
Inscription. Round Island is easily seen three miles south of the Pascagoula River entrance. In the summer of 1849 it was the site of an event which drew attendance by soldiers of fortune from all over the South and required intervention by the President of the United States to bring under control.

Handbills had appeared calling for volunteers who would receive money and land in return for one year of service. Ostensibly this was to free Cuba from Spanish rule, but for many it was an opportunity for booty. This was one of several attempts by organizer Narciso Lopez, a Cuban, to obtain Cuban independence.

In response, 800 men gathered by August 7, 1849 on Round Island under a Col. White of Louisiana to await supplies and orders. President Zachary Taylor, who as Major General had been stationed in Pascagoula the year earlier, could not allow such unauthorized insurgency of another sovereign territory. Federal warships were dispatched to blockade Round Island, an event that made front page on national newspapers. The ships prevented arrival of rations, supplies, and transportation to the men on the island. After 6 weeks of drinking whiskey playing cards, dwindling rations, and being bit by mosquitoes, and one man killed in a fight, the would-be mercenaries disbanded and went home.

Lopez was not so lucky. After three
The Round Island Affair - 1849 Marker looking north on Pascagoula Street. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 22, 2018
2. The Round Island Affair - 1849 Marker looking north on Pascagoula Street.
more attempts to invade and free Cuba he was caught by Spanish authorities and publicly garroted in Havana. In history circles these episodes are referred to as the Cuban filibusters; filibuster meaning an unauthorized take over, insurgency.
 
Erected by the Jackson County Historical and Genealogical Society and City of Pascagoula.
 
Location. 30° 20.597′ N, 88° 33.218′ W. Marker is in Pascagoula, Mississippi, in Jackson County. Marker is at the intersection of Beach Boulevard and Pascagoula Street, on the right when traveling east on Beach Boulevard. Touch for map. Located along the Pascagoula Promenade. Marker is at or near this postal address: 500 Pascagoula Street, Pascagoula MS 39567, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. William Faulkner, Pascagoula Novelist (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Running the Blockade: SS Fanny (Fox) (approx. 0.2 miles away); Capt. John Grant (approx. 0.4 miles away); Shipbuilding in Jackson County (approx. half a mile away); Louisiana Native Guard Attacks Pascagoula (approx. 1.1 miles away); Camp Jefferson Davis
The Great Naval Blockade of Round Island Affair. image. Click for full size.
Public Domain (LOC)
3. The Great Naval Blockade of Round Island Affair.
Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2008661520/.
(approx. 1.1 miles away); President Zachary Taylor's Summer Home Site (approx. 1.1 miles away); Camp Jefferson Davis - Soldiers Return From The Mexican War - 1848 (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pascagoula.
 
Also see . . .  Journal of Mississippi History, Winter 2000 article on the Affair.(pdf). The Taylor Administration versus Mississippi Sovereignty: The Round Island Expedition of 1849 (Submitted on August 27, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.) 
 
Categories. Hispanic AmericansMilitaryNotable EventsWaterways & Vessels
 
View from marker looking east along the promenade. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 22, 2018
4. View from marker looking east along the promenade.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 27, 2018. This page originally submitted on August 27, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 34 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 27, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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