March 1798: Spain evacuates Natchez

Town and Fort of Natchez (MDAH Collection)
Town and Fort of Natchez

Finally acting on the Treaty of San Lorenzo, Spain evacuated Natchez, ending the Spanish colonial period of Mississippi history.

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April 1798: Natchez selected as territorial capital

Audubon's Natchez (MDAH Collection)
Audubon's Natchez
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April 7, 1798: Congress establishes Mississippi Territory

Mississippi Territorial Seal
Mississippi Territorial Seal

Including portions of present-day Alabama and Mississippi, the territory was governed by a ruling council comprising a governor, secretary, and three judges (patterned after the 1787 Northwest Ordinance).

May 1798: President John Adams appoints Winthrop Sargent first territorial governor

A Massachusetts-born Federalist, Sargent served in the Revolutionary War and as secretary of the Northwest Territory.

October 1798: Coles Creek Church established in Woodville

Woodville Baptist Church (MDAH Collection)
Woodville Baptist Church

Known today as Woodville Baptist Church, it is one of Mississippi’s oldest churches.

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