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Ellis Cliffs, Mississippi
A view of Ellis Cliffs in 1896
A view of Ellis Cliffs in 1896
Country United States
State Mississippi
County Adams
Elevation
66 ft (20 m)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
GNIS feature ID 691838

Ellis Cliffs is a ghost town in Adams County, Mississippi, United States.

Situated atop a high chalky bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, the white cliffs were frequently mentioned by early river voyagers.

The settlement was located approximately 14 mi (23 km) south of Natchez, and approximately 1 mi (1.6 km) northeast of Hutchins Landing.

History

The settlement is named for Richard Ellis, a native of Virginia who moved to the area with his family around 1785.

The Ellis family were one of the first to permanently settle in southwestern Mississippi, which was then still under Spanish rule.

Ellis established a plantation known as "White Cliffs", where "towering cliffs lined the east side of the river, providing a floodproof access to the water and vast acres of virgin land and timber". The foundations of the family's first home were still visible in the early 1900s.

When Ellis died in 1792, he had accumulated 6,000 acres (2,400 ha) of land, and more than 150 slaves.

By 1800, both the settlement and the cliffs were known as "Ellis Cliffs".

British artist William Constable visited America between 1806-08 and painted View Down the Mississippi from Ellis's Cliffs, 28 Feby. 1807. Artist John Rowson Smith traveled the Mississippi River before the Civil War and painted The Cotton Region, which included a scene of "the house of a colored slave owner at Ellis Cliffs". Henry Lewis also painted the river, and described Ellis Cliffs as "strikingly bold, wild, and picturesque".

During the Civil War, Confederate batteries were installed at the top of Ellis Cliffs.

The former settlement is today covered by forest, and bordered to the north by the St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge.

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