| Historic Jefferson College is located about five miles east of Natchez, MS, in the village of Washington. In 1802, Washington became the capitol of the Mississippi Territory. In that year, Jefferson College was organized and would become the first institution of higher learning in Mississippi. Its doors opened in 1811 and, except for three years during the Civil War, remained open, first as a college and later as a preparatory school, until 1964. Young men from all over the state who would become noteworthy in the state's history, received their education on this campus. It is now owned and operated by the MS Department of Archives and History. In 1830, the college purchased the Methodist Church where the 1817 Statehood Convention was held. A monument dedicated to the delegates who signed the constitution at the convention is located on the grounds of the school.
Also, in Washington, from 1818 - 1845, was the Elizabeth Female Academy, which was the first chartered institution of higher education for women in the South. Famed ornithologist, John James Audubon, was on the faculty of that school.
My 4-g-grandfather, John Stampley, who lived in Cole's Creek, Jefferson County, MS, was the president of the Legislative Council of the Mississippi Territory in 1801-1802. A plaque commemorating his service is said to be somewhere on the campus grounds.
I found these photos on the Library of Congress website. They are a part of the Historic American Buildings Survey done in the 1930's, when some of the buildings were in serious need of repair.
Many of the buildings have been restored (1977-1984) by the MDAH and are now open to the public. Nancy