24 A BICENTENNIAL HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI the war between opposing factions within Natchez. One faction was the planters with extensive land holdings who had incurred equally extensive debt, primarily with Natchez merchants and bankers, and were looking for government relief. They were led by a large family, the Greens, who were always active in public affairs. The other side was the Natchez bankers and merchants who held the notes, and they favored Sargent. In the 1790s, two national political parties emerged, the Federalists and the Republicans. The Federalists of Alexander Hamilton were the party of the urban moneyed interests. The Republicans, led by Thomas Jefferson, were the party of the yeoman farmer, the rural interests. This national “elites versus common man” split was reflected in the political struggles in Natchez (if land-rich planters could be viewed as “common” men). Soon, the Congress split the Natchez district into Adams County and Pickering County, Pickering being just north of Adams where Jefferson County is today. “To a large extent, political alignments closely paralleled county divisions, with the merchant-creditor faction stronger in Adams and the agrarian-debtor group dominant in Pickering.” Sargent also had considerable backing with members of the upper class besides the merchants and bankers, in large part because he had chosen his political appointments from this group. With the county lines thus drawn, the battle lines also took shape. “The opening volley of this political contest was fired by Sargent’s opponents in Pickering County...First, they reintroduced the traditional opposition PHOTO BY GREG CAMPBELL PHOTO COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE