Lafayette County

Lafayette County

The establishment of Lafayette County occurred on February 9, 1836, arising from the Chickasaw Cession. The town of Oxford, seat of justice for Lafayette County, was founded on June 22, 1836. In the three-census period prior to the Civil War the record shows that Lafayette County’s slave population was substantial. In 1840 there were 3,689 whites in the county of which 2,018 were males and 1,658 females. This compares with 2,842 slaves, composed of 1,412 males and 1,430 females. In 1850 whites increased to 8,346, and slaves expanded to 5,719. By 1860, the white population grew to 8,989, and the number of slaves increased to 7,129. The majority of slaveholders in Lafayette County possessed two to fifteen slaves, while five owned between one hundred to two hundred slaves.

African-Americans in Oxford and Lafayette County came from a wide variety of southeastern states including South Carolina, Virginia, Alabama, North Carolina, and Georgia. Some arrived before the Civil War and others migrated to the county after the War. Many family names related to times of slavery and original plantation names.

Sources:

Sobotka, C. John Jr. A History of Lafayette County, Mississippi.