In this short excerpt from his Journals, artist and naturalist John James Audubon, who knew the older cities of the state on the Mississippi well, describes his only visit to Mississippi’s new capital city on the Pearl.
May 1, 1823 – “I left the bayou on a visit to Jackson, which I found to be a mean place. The hotel atop the bluff was the lowest sort of dive, a rendezvous for gamblers and vagabonds. Disgusted with the place and the people, I left and returned to my wife in Natchez.”
Contemporary visitors echo Audubon’s impressions; Anthony Bourdain called it a “ghost town.” Jackson is still a mean place, in every sense of the word, crippled by petty avarice and racial tension.