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The 2000 census recorded Jackson's population at 184,256, but according to July 1, 2008 estimates, the city's population was 173,861 and its five-county metropolitan area had a population of 537,285.

The Jackson-Yazoo City combined statistical area, consisting of the Jackson metropolitan area and Yazoo City micropolitan area, has a population of 565,749, making it the 88th-largest metropolitan area in the United States.

The area which is now Jackson was originally part of the Choctaw Nation.

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The Confederate forces in Jackson built defensive fortifications encircling the city while preparing to march west to Vicksburg.

Confederate forces marched out of Jackson to break the siege of Vicksburg in early July 1863.

And so, a legislative Act passed by the Assembly on November 28, 1821, authorized the location to become the permanent seat of the government of the state of Mississippi.

Jackson is named after the seventh President of the United States, Andrew Jackson, in recognition for his victory in the Battle of New Orleans.

However, unknown to them, Vicksburg had already surrendered on July 4, 1863. Grant dispatched General Sherman to meet the Confederate forces heading west from Jackson.

Upon learning that Vicksburg had already surrendered, the Confederates retreated back into Jackson, thus beginning the Siege of Jackson, which lasted for approximately one week.

During the late 18th century and early 19th century, the area was traversed by the Natchez Trace, on which a trading post stood before a treaty with the Choctaw, the Treaty of Doak's Stand in 1820, formally opened the area for non-native American settlers.

Jackson was originally planned, in April 1822, by Peter Van Dorn in a "checkerboard" pattern advocated by Thomas Jefferson, in which city blocks alternated with parks and other open spaces, giving the appearance of a checkerboard. The state legislature first met in Jackson on December 23, 1822.

Instead, railroads would later spark growth of the city in the decades after the American Civil War.

Despite its small population, during the Civil War, Jackson became a strategic center of manufacturing for the Confederate States of America.

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! For subjects outside the city but relating to the Jackson metro area, see Jackson metropolitan area.