|Date(s):||June 15, 1854|
|Tag(s):||Agriculture, Economy, Migration/Transportation|
|Course:||“Rise And Fall of the Slave South,” University of Virginia|
In 1854, the central portion of Mississippi was still rural, and the road systems were
definitely sparse. The Mississippi Central Rail-Road Company convened at their annual meeting
to discuss the undertaking of a plan to connect central Mississippi with its neighbor to the north,
These entrepreneurs and capitalists had a vision for the city of Holly Springs,
Mississippi, which they hoped would become a bustling place of commerce through the virtue
of being a junction of the railroad. The business plan states that the road being one hundred and
eighty-three miles in length, with necessary side tracks shall be completed, on the line as now
located, by January, 1857, for the sum of 3,262,500. The vision was a grand one, which they
had seen come to fruition in several cities in neighboring states.
It is not directly stated that the heads of the company used other cities as inspiration, but
the similarities between Knoxville, Tennessee and Holly Springs are very obvious. Albert
Bringham claims that Knoxville went from a tract of land without development to a bustling
center for commerce with railroads that reach out in every direction in under eight years.
Bringham attributes the rapid expansion and development of this portion of Tennessee to the
presence of railroads. It was clear to them that the path of settlement and money will follow the
path of the railroads. By taking the example of Knoxville, which will be connected with Holly
Springs after the construction, these businessmen executed their own grand vision for the future
of rural Mississippi.
Within a couple of years, the small city of Holly Springs, Mississippi hosted a rail line
connecting the interior of the state with the rural portions of southern Tennessee, and eventually
Knoxville, which helped to boost the economy even more. The establishment of a new rail line
was a great success for the economy of Mississippi, and also reinforced the ongoing economic
boom which followed the path of the zig zagging lines across the unsettled country.