Historic Jefferson College

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    About eight miles North of Natchez on Highway 61 resides historic Jefferson College, the first educational institution of higher learning in Mississippi. Visitors can tour a restored dormitory room, student dining room, kitchen buildings and other historic sites. The adjacent nature trail winds up and down through a wooded ravine, past St. Catherine's Creek, over bridges, past Ellicott Springs, and a historic cemetery, with plants and trees clearly identified along the way.

    Jefferson College, incorporated by an act of the first General Assembly of the Mississippi Territory in 1802, was named in honor of Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States and President of the American Philosophical Society. Territorial governor William C. C. Claiborne served as president of the college's first Board of Trustees. In 1830, the college purchased the Methodist church building that had housed the 1817 Mississippi statehood convention. They renovated it in 1832, and in 1839 completed construction of a new West Wing.

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