Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Davis Island, Mississippi/Kents Island

Marker ID:  30
Location: Mud Island River Park, 125 N Front Street, Memphis, TN
County: Shelby
Coordinates: N 35° 8.968    W 090° 3.507
  35.14946666    -90.05845
Waymark: None


Davis Island, Mississippi/Kents Island
Panel #30 Mississippi Riverwalk

A) Davis Island, Mississippi
Mile 415.0 AHP

A large bend once curved around this land which the first settlers name Palmyra. Jefferson Davis established his Briercliffe Plantation here in 1835, next to his brother Joseph’s Hurricane Plantation. The Davis properties were well known and the bend became known as Davis Bend, Jefferson Davis resigned as U. S. Senator from Mississippi when the state seceded from the Union in 1861. and was then elected President of the Confederacy. Briercliffe Plantation was confiscated by the Lion in 1863 and was made a model work colony for free slaves. The U. S. Offered to return the property to Davis after the war in exchange for a single statement repudiating the Confederacy. Davis refused. In 1867, the river cut through the neck of land east of the old Davis property cutting off Davis Bend and creating Davis Island. Diamond Cutoff moved the river into its current channel in 1933. Davis Bend is now named Palmyra Lake, and Davis Island is Mississippi territory embedded in Louisiana shore.

B) Kents Island
Mile 431.5 AHP

A new river channel constructed to its east made Kents Island part of the Louisiana shore. In 1809, on the east bank opposite the island, the town of Warrenton was created to serve the county seat of Warren County. The swampy, low lying town could not quite compete with Vicksburg’s better location a few miles north and Warrenton snowy declined. It was heavily damaged by shelling during the U. S. Civil War. When the river later moved west and land-locked Warrenton, it was abandoned.

A photo of this marker can be found on HMDB.org


AHP - Above Head of Passes, this is the distance from the mouth of a river when measured along the course (navigable channel) starting at zero.