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Earlier, Iberville had named it Pea Island, because he lost a sack of peas there in 1699.

The Pearl empties into the Mississippi Sound, protected from the open Gulf by a series of barrier islands with names like Ship and Cat, important to the early Canadian explorers under Iberville and his brother Bienville.

With the exception of Pearlington, which is only a partial reflection of its former self, all the towns are gone.

There is no more Logtown, or Napoleon, or Santa Rosa, or Westonia.

As early as 1500 BC and continuing until historic tribes like the Pascagoula and Biloxi, Native Americans hunted, fished and navigated the Pearl River drainage, building earthworks and shell middens and leaving a great deal of evidence of their trading acumen and artisanship.

It was archaeology that brought us to the topic of this book.

There is, after all, a certain element of finality to their being, in that, at least for the foreseeable future, they will not, nay cannot, be resurrected.

Besides the physical evidence, including shell middens, overgrown streets, an occasional brick or other artifact, there is a wealth of written testimony to the history of the area.

It is commonly prescribed to professional archaeologists, that they recount the history of a site’s occupation, even if perfunctorily, prior to the immersion into the prehistoric deposits many prefer.First, there is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), for the initial impetus for an in-depth study of the beginnings of this little but important corner of Hancock County, Mississippi. It was on this high land that slave traders of the early19 century found staging areas to import Africans into the New World, after Thomas Jefferson had prohibited this horrid commerce in the newly bought territory.Next, we shall give equal credit by combining into one our thanks to the Hancock County Historical Society, Hill Memorial Library of Louisiana State University, and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, all of which have been necessary – and therefore essential – to this study. The East Pearl River empties into the Gulf of Mexico, or it almost does.Advance apology to readers by the authors: This comprehensive history of Hancock County Ms deserves to be available on the World Wide Web.Countless hours have gone into its creation and researchers ought to be able to avail themselves to its offering. 143 The East bank of the East Pearl River is high and dry land, built in the Pleistocene period, tens of thousands of years before the present.

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