It can be difficult to find a place in the Delta where you can go sit, down by the riverside…
What is: Mississippi River at Friars Point
What was: Founded in 1836 along the Mississippi River, Friars Point was once the largest cotton shipping center south of Memphis. The historic port town remains the only place in Coahoma County with public access to the banks of the Mississippi River and is one of a few public access points to the river in the entire Mississippi Delta region.
Blues legend Robert Johnson is said to have played in front of Hirsberg’s Drugstore, as did Muddy Waters. Johnson referred to Friars Point in the song “Traveling Riverside Blues.” The town has been written about by famous Mississippi writers Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner. It also is the birthplace of country music legend Conway Twitty.
Friars Point was the rendezvous point for General William T. Sherman and Admiral David Porter who under orders from U.S. Grant came to Friars Point in December of 1862 to plan the naval attack on Vicksburg during Grant’s first Vicksburg campaign. The town served as a major staging point for Union troops. It was a rendezvous point for 45 transport ships and gunboats of Gen. Sherman on his way to Vicksburg.
During the 1875 elections, white supremacists intensified efforts to undermine and harass the Reconstruction government in Mississippi. Friars Point was among the places that riots were instigated to intimidate black voters.
It has a population of about 839 as of July 1, 2022.