34 A BICENTENNIAL HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI constitution, a first step. Lattimore was hoping that this would result in some type of consensus on the question of division, but that did not happen. The citizens sent an abundance of letters and “memorials” to Congress, but all that emerged from this avalanche of paper was the message that many westerners wanted a division. The East, however, pushed for a unified admission. A territorial convention was called in October 1815, at the home of John Ford at Sandy Hook in Marion County, on the banks of the Pearl River. “Although this ‘Pearl River Convention’ was composed of representatives from all sections and from fifteen of the territory’s twenty counties, the dominance of the eastern half was obvious in the action it took. The convention dispatched the persuasive Judge Toulmin to the nation’s capital to lay before congress its petition for ‘indestructible’ admission. Although it instructed Toulmin to ‘confer and cooperate’ with Lattimore, cooperation between the two was impossible. Lattimore resented this attempt to meddle in his affairs when he had tried to be fair and follow the wishes of the people. In turn, Toulmin grew progressively more suspicious of Lattimore’s intentions…”. Lattimore, a Natchez man, ultimately came down on the side of division. Throughout 1817, both sides walked the halls of the national capitol promoting their views. Ultimately the forces favoring a division prevailed largely because, as Haynes wrote, “a majority of the Senate, controlled as it was by Southerners anxious to preserve their hold on the upper chamber, preferred division which would eventually give the South four senators instead of two.” There were also objections in Congress because the proposed mega-state would have been twice the size of Pennsylvania, much larger than existing states and far greater than the norm. By way of contrast, “Indiana and Illinois combined included 92,088 square miles as compared to 97,641 square miles for the Mississippi Territory. The population of the areas was approximately the same. Indiana and Illinois had a population of 36, 802 as compared to 40, 352 for the Southern district in 1810, and in 1820 the comparable figures were 202,340 for the Northwest and 203,349 for the Southwest.” Aside from considerations of size, there was also a national policy “to admit to the union a slave state for every The Mississippi Territory comprised fourteen counties, with the five counties along the Mississippi containing almost half the population. free state. If the Southwest was not divided, the free states would have an advantage in the United States Senate,” as McLemore wrote in the Journal of Mississippi History. Lattimore and the advocates of division thus prevailed, not because of their persuasiveness, but because Congressional policy called for it. On March 1, 1817, President Madison signed an act that called for the admission as a state of the western part of the territory as Mississippi and the organization of the eastern half as the Alabama Territory. Even though defeated on the issue of undivided admission, then easterners and their advocate Judge Toulmin were not done yet. A dividing line still had to be drawn, and that was to be done by separate legislation. Toulmin contended, as noted in Mississippi Territorial Papers “Petition to the Senate by Judge Harry Toulmin,” that in order to even things up, he pushed for the Pearl PHOTO COURTESY OF MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY