THE CAPITAL AREA 205 legislators in its earliest years. When they convened in the new capitol for the first time in December 1822, there were no hotels, and only one tavern was open for business. Growth remained slow over the next few years, but a few businesses began to dot the area. By 1825, two printers, a state newspaper, and a handful of physicians and attorneys constituted the beginnings of a business community. Schools and churches, however, were nearly nonexistent in the 1820s. In 1828 and 1829, legislators tried to move the capital a few miles west to Clinton, a location with direct access to the Natchez Trace and in closer proximity to the booming port city of Vicksburg. Those attempts failed, but debate remained about the future promise of the city whose growth seemed stymied when compared to population booms in other parts of the state. The new constitution of 1832, however, ensured that Jackson would remain the capital city until 1850. The Treaty of dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830, the second land cession from the Choctaw Nation, accelerated migration into the Capital Area, especially into Jackson and Hinds County. The stability that the new constitution provided set off a wave of construction in the city. The legislature MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE Founded in 1826, Mississippi College is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of Mississippi and the second-oldest Baptist-affiliated college in the United States. Today, located in Clinton, the institution serves a student population of nearly 5,000 from thirty-nine states and twenty-three different countries. The university offers a wide array of educational programs, including more than eighty undergraduate degree options and a number of graduate-level opportunities. With the college’s core values—fidelity, integrity, inquiry and knowledge, service, respect, excellence, and stewardship—in mind, the faculty and staff of Mississippi College encourage students to reach their full academic and personal potential while staying true to and building on Christian ideals. appointed William Nichols as state architect in 1835. Basing his designs on the Greek Revival architectural style, Nichols immediately set to work on plans for a new statehouse. When it reached completion in 1841 it contained space for both houses of the legislature, the High Court of Errors and Appeals, and the state library. In 1842, Nichols also designed and completed a mansion for the governor and the state’s first penitentiary. In 1855, the State Insane Asylum opened on the site where the University of Mississippi Medical Center is sited today. The completion of these projects further secured Jackson’s location as the seat of governance and encouraged both residential and commercial growth. Migration and Growth in the Capital Area After establishing Jackson and Hinds County in 1821, the state legislature methodically set up governmental structure for the surrounding areas. On January 21, 1823, it approved the creation of both Yazoo and Copiah counties. Simpson County followed a year later. By 1828, when the legislature approved the creation of Madison and Rankin counties, the Capital Area assumed its present-day structure. The economic and political composition of the six counties represented a cross-section of competing interests in Mississippi. The region held small farmers and planters alike, each with their own particular political loyalties. Despite their political differences, however, all six counties, like most areas in Mississippi, had a substantial economic interest in cotton farming and in the labor system upon which it depended: chattel slavery. With the exception of Simpson County, whose enslaved population comprised a little less than 40 percent of its total, in 1860, slaves accounted for over half the inhabitants of the Capital Area counties. Nearly 78 percent of Madison County’s population was enslaved. In Yazoo and Hinds counties, the numbers were only slightly lower at 74 and 71 percent, respectively. The populations of Rankin and Copiah counties were slightly over one- half slave, with Rankin at 51 percent and Copiah at 52. The transformation of sparsely populated areas of the state into a plantation-based center of prosperity did not happen overnight, but growth was rapid. In Yazoo County On November 28, 1821, LeFleur’s Bluff was selected by the state legislature to be the capital and given the name Jackson in honor of the popular general.