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Adams County Police and Miscellaneous County Records

Identifier: M85

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection contains various items and documents relating to the various activities of the Adams County Board of Police that were generated between 1840-1842 and 1850-1856. Warrants for payment to Constable Peter Laurence, road and bridge maintenance reports, and sundry license applications make up most of the collection, but there are also documents relating to the county alms house and allegiance oaths by Board of Police members.


  • Creation: 1836, 1840-42, 1850-1856, 1894


Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; available for research

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical / Historical

Adams County, named for President John Adams, was established April 2, 1799, out of the old Natchez district. It was the first county organized in the Mississippi Territory, and included the town of Washington which served as the Territorial and State capital from 1802 to 1820. Some of the offices that were created in 1799 were: probate judge, sheriff, coroner, court of quarter sessions, common pleas court, and justice of the peace. With the establishment of municipal government in Natchez in 1803 came the employment of a full-time constable. There was also a Board of Police appointed annually by the Natchez Board of Selectmen with responsibilities for, in addition to law enforcement, the county poor house, road maintenance, and approval of license applications. In 1838, a rise in violence resulted in an increased police force of nine members armed with "short swords." A high crime area was the community called "Natchez-under-the-hill," which was destroyed in May 1840 by a powerful tornado that claimed the lives of approximately 350 Adams County residents. The population for Adams County in the years pertinent to these records is recorded at 19,434 in 1840, 18,601 in 1850, and 20,165 in 1860. The 1860 total included 13,318 slaves and 559 polls (registered voters).


0.25 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition


Existence and Location of Copies

For Digitized Materials from this collection, see: External Documents link at bottom of page.

Adams County Police and Miscellaneous County Records
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001