Jefferson College (Mississippi)

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Jefferson College
Jefferson College in Washington.jpg
Jefferson College building in 2010
Jefferson College (Mississippi) is located in Mississippi
Jefferson College (Mississippi)
Location North St., Washington, Mississippi
Coordinates 31°35′32″N 91°17′57″W / 31.59222°N 91.29917°W / 31.59222; -91.29917Coordinates: 31°35′32″N 91°17′57″W / 31.59222°N 91.29917°W / 31.59222; -91.29917
Built 1802
Architectural style Federal
Governing body State
NRHP Reference # 70000316[1]
USMS # 001-WSH-0100-NR-ML
Significant dates
Added to NRHP August 25, 1970
Designated USMS May 9, 1985[2]

Jefferson College was an all-male military college in Washington, Mississippi. It was the first educational institution of higher learning in Mississippi, being chartered in 1802 and opening in 1811.[3] Its sister school was the nearby Elizabeth Female Academy. Jefferson College was the second oldest military school in the nation after the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, also chartered earlier in 1802. Although originally conceived as a college, for most of its history it was actually a college-preparatory school known as Jefferson Military College. Due to falling enrollment and financial difficulties associated with negative public attitudes towards the Vietnam War, the last classes were held in 1964. The historic campus was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 25, 1970, and designated a Mississippi Landmark in 1985.[2]

Jefferson College Today[edit]

Old postcard of Jefferson Military College

Historic Jefferson College was restored by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) in phases completed in 1977 and 1984. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is currently owned and operated by MDAH as a State Historic Site.

Several buildings are open to visitors, including the West Wing, the kitchen buildings, and Prospere Hall. The T.J. Foster 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. The current MDAH property was also the site of the Mississippi Statehood Convention in 1817. The first Capitol of Mississippi was located adjacent to the property, however, the building burned down in 1994. There is currently no historic marker designating the building's former location.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. 
  2. ^ a b "Mississippi Landmarks". Mississippi Department of Archives and History. May 2008. Retrieved April 20, 2009. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "House Resolution No. 72, 2001". Retrieved December 3, 2009. 

External links[edit]