Historic Jefferson College was incorporated on May 13, 1802, by an act
of the first General
Assemboy of the Mississippi Territory. The school was named in honor of Thomas Jefferson, and
was the first educational institution in the Territory. The first buildings were erected on a portion of 45
acres donated by John and James FOSTER, and Randal GIBSON, and the first classes were held
on January 7, 1811.
In 1830, the college purchased the Methodist Church building which had
housed the 1817
Mississippi statehood convention.
The college was closed in 1863, due to the Civil War. Doors were not
reopened until 1866. Around
the turn of the century, the school was known as Jefferson Military College. That name was retained
until it's final closing in 1964.
Today Historic Jefferson College is an offical state historic site and
is listed on the National Register
of Historic Places. Restoration has been accomplished by the Mississippi Department of Archives
and History, and has been aided by The Friends of Jefferson College, Inc., a non-profit corporation.
Visitors may tour several buildings, one of which includes a visitor
reception area, staff offices, and a
small display of photographs, history, and artifacts. A nature trail winds though the woods, and
passes Ellicott Springs, the place of encampment of Andrew Ellicott who, in 1797, surveyed the 31st
parallel to determine the dividing line between the territories of the United States and Spain.
MISSISSIPPI STATEHOOD CONVENTION SITE
This monument was erected to designate the site of the Methodist Church,
now on the grounds of
Historic Jefferson College in Washington, Adams Co., MS, where the 1817 Statehood Convention
was held. The marker reads:
DONE IN CONVENTION AT THE TOWN OF WASHINGTON THE 15TH DAY OF
AUGUST IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 1817 AND IN THE FORTY SECOND YEAR OF
THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE UNITED STATE OF AMERICA.
DAVID HOLMES, PRESIDENT OF THE CONVENTION AND DELEGATE FROM THE COUNTY OF ADAMS.
COUNTY OF ADAMS
JAS. C. WILKINS
COUNTY OF JEFFERSON
H. J. BALCH
J. E. DAVIS
COUNTY OF CLAIBORNE
J. E. CLARKE
COUNTY OF WARREN
H. D. DOWNS
COUNTY OF WILKINSON
ABRAM M. SCOTT
G. C. BRANDON
COUNTY OF AMITE
COUNTY OF PIKE
WILLIAM J. MINTN
JAMES Y. MCNABB
COUNTY OF LAWRENCE
GEORGE W. KING
COUNTY OF MARION
COUNTY OF HANCOCK
COUNTY OF WAYNE
COUNTY OF GREEN
COUNTY OF JACKSON
LOUIS WINSTON - SECRETARY OF THE CONVENTION
THE NAMES OF CATO WEST, DELEGATE FROM JEFFERSON COUNTY, AND JOHN SHAW, DELEGATE FROM FRANKLIN COUNTY DO NOT APPEAR ON THE ABOVE ROLL OF DELEGATES. JOHN SHAW DIED DURING THE SESSION OF THE CONVENTION. CATO WEST REFUSED TO SIGN THE CONSTITUION BECAUSE HE OPPOSED THE DIVISION OF MISSISSIPPI AND ALABAMA TERRITORY