Your Content GIn the short span of time between statehood in 1817 and 1860. Mississippi became the largest cotton-producing state in the nation. The white population of the state grew from 5,179 in 1800 to 354,000 in 1860, the slave population from 3,500 to 436,631. Slaves outnumbered whites by 55 percent. Cotton production in Mississippi exploded from nothing in 1800 to 535.1 million pounds in 1859. Alabama’s development was quite similar and on the eve of the Civil War ranked second with 440.5 million pounds.oes Here