PRE-STATEHOOD 37 during the War of 1812 and added it to the Mississippi Territory as well. All the cobbling together of the various tracts of land created a huge region that comprised present-day Mississippi and present-day Alabama, set back-to-back as a single territory. When the territory was divided into mirror- image halves by Congress, the western side was deemed to be the State of Mississippi and was admitted on December 10, 1817. The meandering tale of how Mississippi got its shape thus came to an end. Or at least it almost came to an end; there would be one final piece, one last addition, which was tacked on well past the official date of admission. The eastern boundary of Mississippi on the date of admission, as mentioned earlier, ran south “from the northwest point of Washington County (Alabama)” which meant that not only did it leave Mobile in Alabama, it also touched the waters of the Mississippi Sound “very close to the east side of Pascagoula Bay.” (Robb, Encyclopedia of Alabama) In other words, it left out the present-day cities of Pascagoula and Moss Point along with a sliver of land along the new state’s eastern line all the way up to the northeast corner of Wayne County. There are conflicting reports on how being left out of the new state was viewed by those living in this area. When arguing over placement of the border line, Toulmin had earlier stated with confidence that it “would certainly be (their) wish” to be in the Mobile district, and Kynerd tells us that “(s)ettlers along the Pascagoula River were… displeased over being separated from Mobile.” But D.M. Robb contends that these settlers “protested that this vertical boundary placed them in the Alabama Territory, separating them from families and businesses on the west side of Pascagoula Bay.” (Encyclopedia of Alabama) In any event, the reaction of the Mississippi Legislature was immediate. They met on December 17, 1817, exactly one week after Madison had signed the admission papers, and protested the eastern boundary in a memorial they sent to the U.S. Congress requesting a re-configuration of the line. Among other complaints, the memorial bemoans the eastern line as “divid(ing) some of the eastern counties, so as to leave a part of the inhabitants on the Pascagoula unconnected with any county, and destitute of the security and benefits of either a territorial or a state government. It destroys the equality, in the partition among the south western states, of the seacoast acquired by the purchase of Louisiana; thereby giving to the Territory of Alabama in the left, and to the State of Louisiana on the right, the whole extent of that sea coast…It moreover leaves this state destitute of a sea port, whilst its two powerful neighbors, Alabama and Louisiana, will possess almost the entire seaboard from the eastern to the western boundary of Louisiana” acquired under the Louisiana Purchase. (Memorial, Dec. 17, 1817) Evidently, Congress found Mississippi’s arguments against splitting the eastern counties and leaving the new state without a seaport to be compelling. Two years later, Section Three of the “Act for the Admission of Alabama” (the enabling act) passed by the U.S. Congress on March 2, 1819, contained the following correction: “That it shall be the duty of the surveyor of the lands of the United States… to run, and cut out the line of demarkation (sic) between the state of Mississippi and the state to be formed of the Alabama territory; and if…so much of said line…running due south, from the north-west corner of Washington county to the Gulf of Mexico, will encroach on the counties of Wayne, Green, or Jackson, in said state of Mississippi, then the same shall be so altered as to run in a direct line from the north-west corner of Washington county to a point on the Gulf of Mexico, ten miles east of the mouth of the river Pascagoula.” The surveyors then determined that Mississippi had indeed been short changed, so the line was shifted eastward, and on December 14, 1819, “when Alabama was admitted to the Union, Congress reunited all the Pascagoula settlers in Mississippi by relocating the bottom leg ‘to run southeastward from the northwest point of Washington County, to strike the Gulf at a point ten miles east of the mouth of the Pascagoula River.’” And so the present-day cities of Pascagoula, Moss Point, and State Line were officially and belatedly annexed to Mississippi. Also added were portions of Buckatunna, Leakesville, and Lucedale. With these additions, two years after official date of admission, the State of Mississippi assumed its final form, the familiar, if somewhat unusual, shape that we recognize today. Two years after Mississippi’s official date of admission, the State assumed its final form, the familiar, if somewhat unusual, shape that we recognize today.