A state of the southeast United States. It was admitted as the 20th state in 1817. French settlers arrived in 1699, and the area became part of Louisiana. It passed to the British (1763–1779) and then to the Spanish before being ceded to the United States in 1783. The Mississippi Territory, organized in 1798 and enlarged in 1804 and 1813, also included the present state of Alabama. Jackson is the capital and the largest city.