William and Marjorie Lewis Collection

This digital collection contains manuscripts and photographs related to the life and career of Jacob Thompson and the effect he had on Oxford and the State of Mississippi.

Jacob Thompson (1810-1885), built his fortune and came to national political prominence after moving from North Carolina to northern Mississippi in the mid- 1830's where he became a wealthy attorney, landowner and slaveholder. He served as a Mississippi congressman for twelve years, served as President James Buchanan's Secretary of the Interior, resigned in January 1861 to serve in the Confederate military, and was appointed by Jefferson Davis to supervise covert activities based out of Canada.

As a public minded individual, Thompson contributed a great deal to the community of Oxford, Miss., where he donated land, and to the establishment of the new university there, where he gave time, contributed money, and even part of his own book collection. His service in public office and the success of his law practice and business also contributed a great deal to the area's growth and prosperity.

For full content listing, please refer to the collection's finding aid for information on the entire collection.

Image from this collection: Portrait of Jacob Thompson (front and verso, date unknown)


Browse the William and Marjorie Lewis Collection:

Correspondence and Documents

Portraits and Photographs