Date of Award


Degree Name

MA in History




Matthew Hopper


At the beginning of the nineteenth century there were few white settlers in the Mississippi Territory. Over the course of two decades, the United States used treaties to force the indigenous inhabitants, the Choctaw, out of this area by the United States to lands west of the Mississippi River. The United States’ goal in the region was to create a plantation economy in the Mississippi Valley based on the production of short-staple cotton sustained by enslaved African American labor. Focusing on the removal of the Choctaw and the subsequent installation of a plantation regime in the Mississippi Valley, this thesis uses government removal records, treaties, correspondence, and arguments from Groves v. Slaughter to show how Choctaw removal and the interstate slave trade are not separate events, but part of one larger movement to incorporate Mississippi into the larger world economy.

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