Claiborne County is located along the Mississippi River south of the Big Black River. The entire region was covered in a forest of various species of pines, oaks, dogwoods, magnolias, gum, willow, cottonwood, sycamore, elm, cypress, ash, cedar, and other hardwood trees. With rich lands, an abundance of water, plenty of wild game, plentiful timber, and a pleasant climate, the area was ideal for settlement. By 1795 settlers were arriving in large numbers.
The French claimed the area from the time of La Salle's exploration of the Mississippi River until 1763. The English claimed it from 1763 till 1781 and Spain claimed it from 1781 to 1798. In 1785 Georgia claimed it as her western lands, organized the County of Bourbon and sold territory in this region. This was the time that Thomas Cumming, Nicholas Long, Thomas Glasscock, A. Gordon and others bought all of the territory which is now Claiborne County.
Prior to the coming of the European explorers and settlers, Native American tribes lived in the area. Tribes of the area included the Natchez, the Tensas, the Muskhogean, and the Choctaw. Early settlers lived in fear of Indian uprises - understandably so - the Indian's home lands were under siege.
In 1798, the United States created the Mississippi Territory. The Mississippi governor organized the Natchez District into two counties, Adams and Pickering. Pickering County included the area which later became Claiborne and Jefferson Counties. The name of Pickering County was changed to Jefferson County on 11 January 1802 and sixteen days later was split, and the northern portion became Claiborne County. Claiborne County was named after the first Republican Governor, William C.C. Claiborne.
Gibson's Landing was chosen for the county seat even though this area was largely a wild woodland. Also called Gibson's Port or Gibson's Fort, the territorial legislature officially named the county seat Port Gibson in 1803.n
The county has a total area of 501 square miles, of which 486 square miles is land and 15 square miles (2.91%) is water. In 1799 there were 779 people living along the Bayou Pierre River, 158 people living near the mouth of the Big Black River, and 80 people living at Walnut Hill. In 1816, when Mississippi was still a territory, there were 295 families living in Claiborne County. The population recorded in the 1810 Federal Census was 3,102. The 2010 census recorded 9,604 residents in the county.
Neighboring counties and parishes are Warren County (north), Hinds County (northeast), Copiah County (southeast), Jefferson County (south), and Tensas Parish, Louisiana (west). Communities in the county include Port Gibson, the county seat, Alcorn (partly), Carlisle, Grand Gulf, Hermanville, Pattison, and Russum.
Updated: 26th August, 2019 6:46 AM.