Alcorn – Places

Corinth Contraband Camp

After the Union took control of Corinth in 1962, the town became a haven for thousands of runaway slaves who sought freedom and protection. Union General Grenville Dodge enlisted the escaped slaves as teamsters, cooks, laborers, and armed security guards, which led to the formation of the 1st Alabama Infantry Regiment of African Descent with about 1,000 men. Under the supervision of Chaplain James M. Alexander, the camp resembled a small town with a commissary, hospital, church, an American Missionary Association School, frame and log houses, and named streets. The camp allowed former slaves to create a life of their own, gain work and an education, and work toward the struggle for equality. Today, the site is a national park called the Corinth Contraband Camp. The park preserves and commemorates the events that change the lives of so many freedmen during and after the war. Bronze figures throughout the camp depict the lives of people who were considered “contraband” of war.


Sources:

Cam Walker, “Corinth: The Story of a Contraband Camp,” Corinth Information Database, 1996, http://mlsandy.home.tsixroads.com/Corinth_MLSANDY/histcw6.html

“Corinth Contraband Camp,” National Park Service, http://www.nps.gov/shil/planyourvisit/contrabandcamp.htm.

“Corinth, Mississippi: Attractions,” Corinth Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureauhttp://www.corinth.net/attractions.htm

Alcorn State University

Alcorn State University is a historically black university located near Lorman, Mississippi. Founded in 1871 by the Reconstruction era legislature, the university was the first black land grant college in the United States and provided higher education for freedmen. Medgar Evers, the first NAACP field secretary, graduated from Alcorn State University in 1948. In addition, the school boasts alumni who were and are leaders in civil rights, business, medicine, and politics including Alex Haley, Horace R. Cayton Sr., Gwen Belton, Katie G. Dorsett, and Joseph Edison Walker. When protests erupted on Alcorn’s campus in the 1960s, the presidents had to shut the demonstrations down for fear of losing their jobs, since the segregationist state legislature controlled the school.

Sources:

“Alcorn State University,” Wikipedia, 8 August 2012, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcorn_State_University

Josephine M. Posey, Against Great Odds: The History of Alcorn State, University Press of Mississippi, 1994. 

Josephine M. Posey, “About Alcorn: Brief History,” Alcorn State Universityhttp://www.alcorn.edu/about/default.aspx?id=559

Black History Museum of Corinth

Located in the former residence of William Dakota and Adrienne Combs Webb, the home was donated to the city Corinth in 1990.  Adrienne Combs Webb (1896-1987) was the daughter of J. B. Combs, principal of the Colored School. The African-American couple’s home was renovated and used as a shelter for families who experienced tragic losses. In 2003, the process of turning the home into a museum was set in motion. The museum’s goals are to identify, preserve, house, and promote historic properties and artifacts that reflect African American heritage, as well as tell the stories of black experiences in Corinth and the surrounding community. Exhibits include religion, education, and civil rights displays, in addition to personal collections of patrons. 

Sources: 

“About Corinth,” Corinth Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureauhttp://www.corinth.net/about.htm

“Immerse Yourself in Our History: Black History Museum of Corinth,” Corinth Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, http://www.corinth.net/BlackHistoryMuseum.htm

Turner Publishing Company, Alcorn County, Mississippi: 1870-2002, November 25, 2002.