Clinton was originally settled in 1805 at the junction of the Natchez Trace and Old Vicksburg Road.
For thousands of years, Native Americans, particularly the Choctaws, lived in the Mississippi territory and frequented the land that would become the City of Clinton. The Native Americans created the hundreds of miles-long footpath of the Natchez Trace. The trail’s stop in Clinton is the result of the area’s wealth of natural springs.
White Spanish explorers claimed the land of the Mississippi Territory (the land composing present-day Mississippi and Alabama), but it was the British who ceded it to the US after the American Revolution. The Mississippi Territory was established in 1798.
The Commissioner of Mississippi, Thomas Hinds, and General Andrew Jackson formalized a treaty with the Choctaw Indianas for purchase of a large part of their land in Mississippi. They met with a large Choctaw delegation led by Chief Pushmataha in October 1820 on the Natchez Trace at a trading post called Doak’s Stand. The Choctaws were given $20,000 and a territory to live in what is present-day Arkansas.
At the public sale of lands of the Choctaw Cession in November, 1823, Governor Walter Leake purchased two half-sections of land lying adjacent to Robinson Spring.
On the land he built a two-story brick home (the first brick home in Hinds County), and moved in two years later in March 1825. He lived there for eight months, dying in November. He had named the home “Mount Salus” meaning mountain of health, and the citizens of Clinton adopted the name for the town. The home was destroyed by fire in the 1920s.
In 1828, the city was re-named Clinton in honor of DeWitt Clinton, a former governor of New York.