Location Information
(for the Jefferson College)
Name:Jefferson College
City/County:Washington, Adams County
Architectural Information
Construction Date:1802
Registration Information
NR Listing Date:25 Aug 1970
View National Register Nomination Form
Mississippi Landmark Information
Book/Vol. No.:V. 16-V, p. 178
Jefferson College is a remarkably intact surviving antebellum school complex. The school was established by an act of the government of the Mississippi Territory in 1802 (as the first incorporation of any organization for any purpose in Mississippi), and opened in 1811 (in a wood-frame building that no longer survives). The most important of its historic buildings are the "East Wing" (1817-21, designed by Levi Weeks) and the "West Wing" (1838-39). Jefferson College operated for many years as a preparatory school, and later as Jefferson Military College (Jefferson Military Academy), a high-school-level military boarding school. It closed in 1964, one-hundred and fifty-four years after it originally opened. The property was conveyed to the State of Mississippi in 1965, and it was placed under the administration of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History in 1971. The complex was opened to the public in 1977 as "Historic Jefferson College," a historic site administered by MDAH.

In 2011-12 an extensive historical and architectural study of the complex was conducted by a team led by architect Robert Parker Adams, leading to the preparation of a Historic Structures Report, along with supplemental historical documentation.

Jefferson College is included in "Historic Architecture in Mississippi" (1973) (pp.47-48), "Architecture of the Old South: Mississippi – Alabama" (1989) (pp. 27-28), "Must See Mississippi" (2007) (pp. 15-18), and other books.

[HABS: MS-4 (twenty-three photographs of the East and West Wings and the Gymnasium made by James Butters in April 1936 and Jack E. Boucher in April 1972). The East and West Wings and the two older outbuildings were documented in the forty pages of HABS-format measured drawings that were made in 1972, but which were apparently never transmitted to HABS and the Library of Congress. There are copies in MDAH collections, but the original drawings have not been located.]