Cape Girardeau, Missouri is a city rich in history. Located along the Mississippi River, this city has witnessed a number of important historical events that have shaped America. Here are seven significant events that took place in and near Cape Girardeau:
1. The Louisiana Purchase: On April 30, 1803, President Thomas Jefferson announced the Louisiana Purchase, which was an agreement between the United States and France to purchase the Louisiana Territory for $15 million. The purchase included the area that is now Cape Girardeau, which had been part of the Spanish Empire until 1800.
2. The Battle of Belmont: The Battle of Belmont was fought on November 7, 1861, near the city of Belmont, Missouri, which is located just across the river from Cape Girardeau. The battle was part of the American Civil War and was a Union victory led by General Ulysses S. Grant. This battle was significant as it was one of the earliest engagements of the Civil War, and it demonstrated the strength of Union forces in the area.
3. The Great Flood of 1927: In the spring of 1927, the Mississippi River flooded, causing widespread devastation and leaving many homeless. Cape Girardeau was one of the cities affected by the flood, with many of its streets and buildings submerged. The flood is considered one of the worst natural disasters in American history.
4. The Missouri Bootheel: Cape Girardeau is located in the Missouri Bootheel, an area of Missouri that juts out into Arkansas and Tennessee. The Bootheel was once a swampy wilderness, but it was drained and developed for farming beginning in the late 19th century. This area has a unique history and culture that sets it apart from the rest of Missouri.
5. The Cape Girardeau Common Pleas Courthouse: The Cape Girardeau Common Pleas Courthouse is a historic courthouse located in downtown Cape Girardeau. It was built in the 1850s and served as a courthouse during the Civil War. It was also the site of the famous Confederate raid led by General Marmaduke in 1863. Today, it is a popular tourist attraction and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
6. The Dockery Plantation: The Dockery Plantation was a large cotton plantation located near Cleveland, Mississippi, about 150 miles south of Cape Girardeau. The plantation was known for its innovative farming techniques and for being the birthplace of Delta blues music. Many famous blues musicians, such as Robert Johnson and Howlin' Wolf, got their start at Dockery.
7. The Trail of Tears: The Trail of Tears was a forced relocation of thousands of Native Americans from their homelands in the southeastern United States to Indian Territory (which later became Oklahoma) in the 1830s. The trail passed through Cape Girardeau County, and many Cherokee Indians were detained in Cape Girardeau during their journey west. The Trail of Tears is a shameful episode in American history, and it is important to remember those who suffered during this time.
In conclusion, Cape Girardeau has witnessed many significant historical events that have shaped America's past. From the Louisiana Purchase to the Trail of Tears, the city's rich history is a testament to the many struggles and achievements of its people. With its numerous museums, historic buildings, and cultural landmarks, Cape Girardeau is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in American history.
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